MIAMI, USA -- Amid a week of cruise industry focus surrounding the international Cruise Shipping Miami convention, a soon-to-be reborn island nation took centre stage.
Montserrat, a British Overseas Territory, this week introduced its Master Plan for Growth, a specific and aggressive layout of post-volcanic, privately-funded development on the northwest side of the island that includes an elegant “centrepiece” hotel property, a marine village and service centre, a port to welcome ferries, small to mid-size cruise ships and private yachts, and a variety of incentive-driven commercial and residential investment possibilities.
Following a period of Mother Nature-driven devastation, beginning in 1989 with Hurricane Hugo and later a series of volcanic eruptions in 1995, basic infrastructure and service recovery and improvements are now in place and the next chapter in development and return to economic self-sufficiency is moving forward. Montserrat Development Corporation (MDC), an autonomous agency established by the government of Montserrat, is mandated with leading this island renaissance.
“As we look to investors and developers around the globe who share our vision for growth consistent with Montserrat’s natural beauty, charm and warmth,” said Ivan Browne, chief executive of the MDC, “we recognize the importance of this economic and tourist revitalization for the people of Montserrat, for local residents and business interests, and for future visitors from around the world.
“Regarding any safety concerns related to our volcanic past,” Browne continued, “Soufriere Volcano is the most studied volcano in the world, with a permanent observatory and team of world renowned volcanologists and seismologists who are continuously monitoring and have assured us that the combination of island topography with its major hills and bluffs, and location of our Master Plan development on the northwest side of the island, provide a naturally safe, protected and ideal focal point for the Caribbean’s newest capital city.”
Construction of a new breakwater and port will ensure reliable sea access to and from Montserrat, enabling both small and medium-sized cruise ships to dock safely. Adjacent to the port will be a marina and yacht club with berths for approximately 60 leisure craft and waterfront properties providing retail, commercial and residential space. The new capital town yet to be named will be developed on a 225-acre site known as Little Bay and Carr’s Bay. It will feature an affordable luxury hotel, adjacent hillside private residences, villas and condominium units, and a diverse mix of leisure and civic facilities.
“For the right economic partners, Montserrat provides the rare opportunity to effectively take part in the rebirth of an island nation,” added Browne, “to become a founding father.”